Ive heard a couple of
other reviewers say that Onimusha is just Resident Evil with samurai. I want to know what
exactly they mean by "just". Samurai and undead demons go together like hydrogen
and oxygen. I mean individually theyre pretty decent elements in there own right,
but together they can make water, and if you have water you can support life as we know
it. Its basically the same with undead and samurai. Ill make it simple:
samurai + undead = cool. If anyone ever tells you otherwise theyre wrong and
That said, Onimusha is a lot like Resident Evil with samurai. Playing as the
warrior Samanosuke, you begin the game responding to a request for help from the local
princess. Times are troubled and wars are being waged in the background of the story.
Japan is in chaos, but its nothing compared to the trouble at the local keep where
demons are eating people, preparing human sacrifices, and just plain causing trouble. You
arrive too late to save the princess, but you vow to search for her and thus the game
has more of an arcade feel to it than does the Resident Evil series. Navigation is
identical and control very similar, but monsters are confronted mush more like they are in
an action-RPG. Basically you run up to demons and whack them with your sword until they
explode in a flash of color and their remains disintegrate. You then suck the souls that
were imprisoned in the demon into your magic gauntlet. These souls can replace lost
health, lost magic, and also serve as experience points used to upgrade weapons. In
addition, Samanosuke acquires magic orbs that go into his soul sucking gauntlet and allow
him to use spells like lightning bolts, flamebursts, and whirlwind attacks, similar to the
magic spells used by the historical samurai.
once defeated, will reappear a few times. The sly gamer can plan a path without too much
backtracking in order to minimize combat and save health. The wise gamer can backtrack
often in order to kill as many demons as possible in order to suck up their souls and use
the resulting energy to upgrade weapons, orbs, and equipment.
are three different swords, three different magic orbs, and three sets of armor
youll acquire during the game. The armor is pretty simple since every new set is
better than the old set, but the swords have more variety. The swords have a difference in
speed, power, size, and magic attack. Each sword is more suitable for use against a
particular enemy, so switching between them is a necessity. Other secondary weapons can be
acquired such as the bow and the rifle. Ammunition is limited, so these will never be your
primary weapons, but they are ideal for specialized tasks such as taking out snipers.
is at a premium in Onimusha, so youll have to be frugal with your green herbs. The
individual monsters arent too difficult as a general rule, although certain
combinations of monsters can be devastating. The real challenge is in defeating the ultra
powerful boss characters. Strategy is necessary since the fearless hack and slash
technique is doomed to almost certain failure. Some boss battles are so difficult that you
can count yourself lucky if you manage to defeat your opponent in less than ten minutes.
This is quite awhile for a strike and parry battle to go on, but it never gets old or
monotonous. It also helps that the boss battles, and many other scenes, are presented with
a dramatic cinematic flare that adds to the excitement.
is also a side quest not necessary to finish the game in which you travel to the dark
realm. Youre pitted against various enemies in twenty levels of gladiatorial combat.
As each stage is cleared you move on to the next arena, and after certain stages there are
items such as herbs. After the twentieth level youre given the key to unlocking an
ultra powerful sword sure to come in handy during the games final stages. As a word of
caution, the dark realm is so hard that it should not be attempted by the weak willed or
the easily frustrated.
only real flaw is its length, but this is a significant flaw. A leisurely stroll will take
you through the game for the first time with six hours or so of game time, although if you
die a lot it may take a little longer. When calculating your game ranking, five hours is
the lowest score even rated. As impressive as Onimusha is at times, when it comes to
talking about truly great games, a five-hour game is difficult to take seriously. If
youve been through the game before, finishing in two or three hours is easily
the upside, its a great ride for as long as it lasts. You may also want to replay it
once to get a good score and unlock all the secret goodies, but after that Onimusha
doesnt have much more to offer. If you dont mind the abbreviated game time,
Onimusha is a sure thing.